curl chemist article on gray hair

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  • 1 Post By rbb
  • 1 Post By Swirlycurly Chemist

tonya has a new article on gray/white hair. just read it and found it interesting, informative, and yes, those hairs do have different properties/needs.

one statement in the article has me wondering how this effects my hair and i pm her that i would post here. this is the statement:

The surface of hair can even lose its natural hydrophobic protection and become hydrophilic, allowing far too much water to penetrate into the hair, causing irrevocable damage.

so, my questions are -- how would this damage show up, make itself known? any way to prevent it? would sealing help?

any thoughts?
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3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity
washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
leave in:cj conditioners and treatments as leave in
styling: cj pattern pusha, cj honey butta leave in, cj cccc, cj ciab, lalsg. cj aloe fix gel is my high dews/summer HG!!
sealants - spiral solutions emollience butter, jane carter nourish & shine
I will be very interested to hear what she says.My hair has always been somewhat porous, but now that it's silver, that property seems to have enhanced. My hair literally drinks whatever you put on it.
For example, I can put on coconut oil at night - enough that it feels oily and looks oily. By morning (I wear a shower cap, plus a satin cap over the top), when I get ready to shower, it's completely soaked in with not a trace of oiliness.
thank you, tonya!

tonya just added another article to her gray hair article in response to my question about hydrophilic hair --

Your 18-MEA Cuticle Layer: Once It's Gone, There's No Turning Back

the article explains how hair reaches that damaged level.
dixygirl likes this.
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3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity
washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
leave in:cj conditioners and treatments as leave in
styling: cj pattern pusha, cj honey butta leave in, cj cccc, cj ciab, lalsg. cj aloe fix gel is my high dews/summer HG!!
sealants - spiral solutions emollience butter, jane carter nourish & shine
My hair was never very porous and it still isn't. Except for the ends which, according to my most recent hair analysis, have lost their cuticle entirely. In my case, it is probably caused from lots of time in the sun. And it is probably the reason why my hair gets tangled so much more nowadays.
I gave myself a good trim and am using more coconut oil on the ends as was recommended, but I would also be interested in buying products with 18-MEA to see if it makes a difference.

At a quick glance I see there are Redken and KMS products with that ingredient. I will have to check out their other ingredients.
In Western PA
Found NC in 2004. CG since 2-05, going grey since 9-05. 3B with some 3A.
Hair texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
Suave & VO5 cond, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
http://public.fotki.com/jeepcurlygurl/ password jeepy **updated Aug 2014**
https://www.facebook.com/lifetheuniverseandtodd

Last edited by jeepcurlygurl; 04-23-2014 at 01:22 PM.
I am new here. Do you mind posting a link or letting me know how to access articles by Tonya? Thank you.
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 279
thank you, tonya!

tonya just added another article to her gray hair article in response to my question about hydrophilic hair --

Your 18-MEA Cuticle Layer: Once It's Gone, There's No Turning Back

the article explains how hair reaches that damaged level.
Originally Posted by rbb
I LOVE that article RBB! Your 18-MEA Cuticle Layer: Once It's Gone, There's No Turning Back This explains very well imo how / why some hair actually would need silicone products. If the hair has been damaged to the point that the irreplaceable 18-MEA lipid layer has been lost, silicone is about your only hope to protect that hair by somewhat replicating the 18 MEA layer. I imagine this is why my hair gets dripping wet with the least bit of ambient moisture and why I like silicones. Apparently my 18 MEA layer is gone. I know that hair as fine as mine is often lacking anything in the medula layer, which already makes it fragile and prone to breakage. Since the silicone can penetrate into my empty cortex and fill it with something, it in effect makes the hair a little stronger. Coconut oil has a similar ability although it is very transient and fleeting, Good to know that Redken Extreme conditioner supposedly contains actual 18-MEA. http://relaxedhairhealth.blogspot.co...intensify.html The author speaks of a necessary holy trinity of "protein, ceramides and 18-MEA " for this type of hair. My hair does love protein as well as ceramide oils, so I think that Redken Extreme conditioner and/or Asience Moisture Balance conditioner

I see there are other conditioners that claim to contain/replicate 18-MEA, most of them I've looked at really actually contain silicones. But these articles have explained so much to me about my easily wet, fine fragile hair and I really appreciate it. I will investigate these 18-MEA containing /replicating conditioners as well as keeping my regimen rich in ceramide oils and light proteins.
Very useful information RBB!

Last edited by dixygirl; 04-24-2014 at 12:01 PM.
I am new here. Do you mind posting a link or letting me know how to access articles by Tonya? Thank you.
Originally Posted by CurlyInParadise
here is the link i use: it always brings up the most recent article, then keep scrolling down for others.

Tonya McKay | NaturallyCurly.com
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3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity
washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
leave in:cj conditioners and treatments as leave in
styling: cj pattern pusha, cj honey butta leave in, cj cccc, cj ciab, lalsg. cj aloe fix gel is my high dews/summer HG!!
sealants - spiral solutions emollience butter, jane carter nourish & shine
dixygirl -- wasn't my info, i just pointed in the direction! i always check to see when there is a new article/info from tonya, i find them soooo helpful.
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3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity
washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
leave in:cj conditioners and treatments as leave in
styling: cj pattern pusha, cj honey butta leave in, cj cccc, cj ciab, lalsg. cj aloe fix gel is my high dews/summer HG!!
sealants - spiral solutions emollience butter, jane carter nourish & shine
I got a jar of the Redken fortifying hair mask and a tube of the KMS therapy treatment. So as soon as they come in and I give them a try I will let you all know what I think of them!
The Redken conditioner had cyclopentasiloxane and dimethicone, so that seemed a bit much for me since I rarely use anything with cones.
In Western PA
Found NC in 2004. CG since 2-05, going grey since 9-05. 3B with some 3A.
Hair texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
Suave & VO5 cond, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
http://public.fotki.com/jeepcurlygurl/ password jeepy **updated Aug 2014**
https://www.facebook.com/lifetheuniverseandtodd
Interesting. Sure seems like it is easier to keep the 18-MEA than get it back... like so much when it comes to the health of our hair!
I tried both of my new purchases and like them both. They are very different from each other. The Redken Strength Builder Plus Fortiying Hair Mask comes in a tub, the texture is like a silky conditioner, it has a nice scent.
The KMS California Moist Repair Therapy Treatment comes in a tube and is very very thick and didn't have a very noticeable scent.
These both look CG to me, for those interested and sell for around $15 ea (8.5 oz tub, 4.2 oz tube).
The Redken made my hair feel silkier and less tangly. The KMS made my hair much bouncier. I will definitely add them to my deep treatments and will use a little on my porous ends as a leave in.
At some point I will cut off the damaged ends and try to prevent so much sun and wind damage this summer.
In Western PA
Found NC in 2004. CG since 2-05, going grey since 9-05. 3B with some 3A.
Hair texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
Suave & VO5 cond, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
http://public.fotki.com/jeepcurlygurl/ password jeepy **updated Aug 2014**
https://www.facebook.com/lifetheuniverseandtodd
I just got rbb's message where she was asking me about this. I am sorry guys - I don't get over here to the board as often as I would like these days.


Here is what I sent her via pm:
So, when structural damage occurs to the surface of the hair, the chemical structure changes as well and becomes more polar (charged), and more water absorbent. When hair takes on too much water, a number of things can happen that can cause permanent damage tot he structure.

- Proteins can lose their proper configurations
- swelling from water absorption can actually cause cuticle to pop off and strands to rupture
- hydrogen bonding between amino acids and proteins can be disrupted causing curl pattern to be lost and more frizz to develop
- overall loss of mechanical integrity, elasticity, and curl pattern.


So - what to do about it? Prevention is key of course, by protecting your gray hair from sun and other damaging influences. But also, as rbb mentioned, treating with pretins, ceeramides, really good conditoners helps, and also protecting it during the day with a good gel or sealer. (I personally do like some silicones, especially amodimethicone for my hair).

The trickiest thing for me is how to keep it from absorbing too much water in the shower - which can be helped somewhat by proteins, which accumulate inside the cortex to some extent.

It seems it always comes down to educated guesses and trial and error for each person's hair though, doesn't it?
jeepcurlygurl likes this.
3A canopy with 3B underneath
Low poo, not afraid of amine-based silicones or polyquats, silk proteins are good as well.

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